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  • MPC 400 Community Media II

Annual Abbie Copps Poetry Reading

Photo captions:

OLIVET - On Tuesday, March 19, The University of Olivet held the annual Abbie Copps Poetry Reading sponsored by The University of Olivet Arts and Humanities Department and The Garfield Lake Review. The event featured three Michigan poets as well as three student prize winners.

Logan Schreiber, editor for The Garfield Lake Review said, “This is a yearly event. We do it to promote local poets and authors as well as poets that we have on campus just to kind of raise awareness for these people that are pursuing their poetry and their writing careers.”

The event began with an introduction and history of the awards and events given by Meredith L. Dodson, associate professor of writing. Following the opening presentation, the student prize winners of the poetry competition shared their pieces. The prize winners included - Liberty Tetzlaff, Faith Fowler, and Hanna Sauve.

Award winners of the Abbie Copps Poetry Competition, from left to right; Faith Fowler, Liberty Tetzlaff and Hannah Sauve.

“I received the Abbie Copps Poetry Foundation award for my poem called ‘My Grandmother's Apartment,’ which I wrote about my grandma after she passed away a few years ago,” said Fowler. “I feel very lucky to have won this award, and I am very appreciative that I did,” said Fowler.

“I received the grand prize for the Abbie Copps Poetry Contest for my piece, ‘Healing Comes in Waves.’ I have gone through a lot of events recently and I have been kind of lost lately, so it was just a way for me to put all my feelings about how healing isn’t consistent or linear, and it brings you through a lot of ups and downs kind of like the ocean, but it eventually gets better.” Tetzlaff continued, “I didn't really expect it, but I was just doing it to get all the poems I write out there and to try new things. I was really excited to win, so I am very grateful,” Tetzlaff said.

Sarah Carson, guest poet presented her work from her book, 'How to Baptize a Child in Flint, Michigan'.

Following the prize winners, three Michigan poets in the building assisted in judging the poetry competition. Sarah Carson, Dennis Hinrichsen, and Andrew Collard - shared some of their work with the audience.

“It was really fun. It was great to hear young people's poetry and to have such a big crowd come out to celebrate,” said Carson, author of ‘How to Baptize a Child in Flint, Michigan.’ Carson continued by saying, “It reminds me of when I was a young college student who dreamed of being a poet with a book out in the world. It's fun to see so many other people starting out with similar journeys.”

Poet Andrew Collard's book 'Sprawl' was there for purchase at the event, along with the other guest poets books.

“This is a fabulous event. A terrific crowd, you have student voices, this is just amazing for us to see so many people come out in a small college like this,” said Hinrichson, author of the award winning book, ‘Schema Geometrica.’ “I know a lot of times too, people haven’t had an opportunity to experience poems in a live setting like this, and I feel like that’s what they are made for,” said Collard, author of the Hollis Summer Poetry Prize-winning book, ‘Sprawl.’

The night concluded with members of the audience being given a chance to share some of their own poetry during the open mic portion of the event. “Poetry wants to break down the metaphysical gap between self and others. A writer here wants to discover something not him or herself, and find language that brings those two things together,” said Hinrichson.

Photos by Ella Gaffke

Written by Nate Lehman and Stuart Donlan


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